6. Shopping for Your Gown
Many brides are ready to hit the ground running when it comes to selecting a dress, but before you say "yes" to the dress, take a deep breath. If you have a lengthy engagement, your tastes may change over time, and if you lose (or gain!) weight, you may end up needing costly alterations. Aim to purchase your 9-12 months before you’ll need it. And follow the advice of Wendy Yan, co-owner of Ieie’s Dress Boutique: “When choosing where to purchase your dress, the first thing to check is their returns policy. Avoid stores with vague language and when in doubt, Google is a great place to check out past client's reviews.”
And leave the shoe-shopping for later on. For many brides, wedding shoes are almost as important as the gown itself. But wait a few months before you select your stilettos (or sequined Chucks). Feet often swell during the summer, especially if you spend most of your days in flip flops, so aim to go shoe shopping around the same time of year that you’ll be getting married (i.e. in the winter for a winter wedding). Consider your venue as well. If you buy a pair of spiky stilettos and end up getting married in a field or at the beach, you’re going to spend the entire ceremony sinking into the ground.
Photo Credit: Steven Moduno of Ember Photography / Custom gown by Leie's Dress Boutique
7. Firing off Your STDS
Save-the-dates, that is... and although you want to ensure your besties will be there, you don’t want to end up uninviting people when you fall in love with a venue that can only accommodate 100 guests. Before sending invitations and STDs, make sure you know what your venue can accommodate and how much you’re able to spend.
8. Trying to Get a Head Start on DIY Projects
If you’ve already spent the past few months pinning DIY ideas on Pinterest, you may be tempted to run out to your local art supply store and start crafting. But, as wedding planner and florist Debi Echevarria warns her brides, “If you haven’t settled on a color scheme or an overall theme for your wedding, you may end up with a bunch of useless supplies that no longer match your vision. Before you begin, make sure you know exactly what you need, how you’re going to store your décor projects until the big day, and how you’ll transport everything to your venue.”
Photo Credit: Jack Deutsch, © 2012 The Stonesong Press, LLC.
9. Proposing to Your Bridesmaids
Before assembling your ‘maids, stop and think about who you really want with you on your big day. And be clear on what you expect your bridesmaids to contribute, both in terms of emotional support and financial resources. If you want your entire entourage to attend you bachelorette blow out in Vegas, make sure your friends understand your expectations before commiting to being a part of your crew — and don't take it personally if your former college roommate with three young kids at home declines.
10. Selecting Your Bouquet Without Considering the Season
Before you start drooling over a certain type of flower, consider the time of year during which you’ll be getting married, especially if you’re an eco-conscious couple trying to reduce your carbon footprint. Flowers can be flown in from just about anywhere, but you’ll save money and have better quality blooms if you let your florist guide you through the process of selecting flowers that are in season and available locally.
11. Getting Sucked into Pinterest
Pinterest is fun. But as newlywed Rebecca Gordon warns, “Pinterest is also dangerous. If you spend too much time on it, you're going to come up with outrageous ideas that aren't feasible.” The more time you spend ogling photo spreads, the more you’re going to feel that your budget is inadequate or that your dress isn’t pretty enough. Consider what information you’re actually looking for, and once you find it, log off.
12. Caving to Pressure
The minute you announce your engagement, you’re going to start getting guest list requests from family and friends. While many of these requests may take the form of well-intended suggestions, remember that it is your wedding and if you don’t want to invite your Great Aunt Mildred or ask your sister in law to be a bridesmaid, you don’t have to.